And there's nothing magical about how he's doing it.
"Basically, I am coming out here with (MSU strength) Coach (Ben) Pollard and the rest of my teammates and getting out in the hot sun and getting some conditioning in and working hard in the weight room to improve my strength," said Sherrod. "(And) after the workout, I come out and work on my plays and my technique."
But despite all the hard work, he's still got a long way to go before he's the complete offensive lineman.
"I probably need to get stronger because you can always get stronger and more flexible," said Derek Sherrod. "And you can always better prepare yourself and make sure you know every mental aspect of the game."
As for the mechanical part of his game, he feels pretty confident in that.
"I definitely think I have gotten better at that," said Sherrod. "Everything is still clicking. I guess it's because I'm used to it and know what to expect."
And with a fall and spring under his belt the MSU coaches got what they expected from Sherrod - a starting left tackle. And he's not taking that honor lightly.
"It's a pretty prestigious honor for my coach to put me in the role as a starter," said Sherrod.
And with that honor comes high expectation.
"There are a lot of expectations on you and you have to fulfill your obligations to help your team out any way possible," said Sherrod.
While football is full of expectations and obligations, the class room holds just as many. And Sherrod excels in that arena as well to the tune of a 3.8 grade point average in the spring and an overall 3.5 in his freshman year.
Obviously, his coaches are proud of that accomplishment, but Sherrod knows two other people who are even prouder.
"I know my parents very well, and I can say that they are very proud of me making a 3.8 last semester and a 3.5 overall," said Sherrod.
Speaking of proud, there is one person that Sherrod is very proud of himself - his older brother Dezmond, who was signed as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers this summer.
"I'm really proud of Dez because he's really worked hard for it the past five years," said Sherrod. "He probably didn't expect to get this opportunity. And I know that he's not going to waste it. He's working harder than I've seen him work before. I can see a different side of him already."
Just like the coaches can see a different side of Derek Sherrod.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.